Champagne truffles are a romantic notion, but actually very subtle in taste. Since you will be using very little Champagne (or sparkling wine) in the truffles themselves, make sure to prepare these on a day when you can enjoy the remainder of the bottle! The flavor is maximized by using any sparkling wine made with blanc de noir grapes—it should be a rich rose color. I use Domaine Ste. Michelle sparkling wine and Valrhona Extra Bitter chocolate (61%). The topping of superfine sugar gives the truffle a sparkle—just like the drink it embodies.
Recipe © 2014 by Dédé Wilson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press. Photo by Brian Hagiwara.
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 pound plus 2 ounces bittersweet couverture chocolate, very finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons Champagne or sparkling wine
- Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 45 small fluted paper cups (optional)
- Place cream in a 2-quart, wide saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle 8 ounces chocolate into cream. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes; the heat should melt the chocolate. Stir very gently until smooth.
- Stir in Champagne. Pour mixture into a shallow bowl. Cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, then allow to sit, preferably overnight, until firm enough to roll. (Or you may refrigerate ganache until firm, about 4 hours.)
- Coat your hands with cocoa powder and roll ganache into ¾-inch balls. Place in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan and refrigerate until very firm.
- Temper the remaining chocolate. Line a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil, shiny side up, smoothing out any wrinkles, or cover the pan with a piece of acetate. Dip truffles in the melted chocolate, making as thin and even a coating as possible. Place truffles on the prepared pan. Sprinkle each truffle with a tiny bit of sugar while chocolate coating is still wet. Refrigerate until firm. Place in fluted paper cups, if desired, and serve at room temperature.